Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?

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charmerci

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #60 on: 4 Jun 2016, 12:46 am »
Do you have the Fleetwood Mac album? Warm Ways sounds wonderful with the RAAL tweeter. (My speakers don't have the Accutron mid.)

DEP14

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Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #61 on: 4 Jun 2016, 12:53 pm »
Hey Deep,

Maybe I can lend a few thoughts.  Somewhere out here I did my best to compare the SS8's (which I owned at the time) to BRM's Exotica 12's.   - They are very different speakers.

I'm also one that believes that given "good" equipment - that 75% or more of a systems sound is still the speakers.  (Do I believe amps, pre-amps, sources and DAC's sound different - absolutely, but the law of diminishing returns applies AND the more revealing your speaker is determines what differences you hear). 

The SS8 is a very revealing speaker.  It's accurate, it's pretty darn dynamic, and in some sense - yes it can sound "bright".  I love dynamics myself, I like that super crisp sound of a snare drum, I like to hear that midrange crunch on a good Les Paul ripping through a Marshall stack.  But I don't like bright or fatiguing speakers.

It's a very, very tough balance to get.  In my case I am a rock/blues/reggae listener.  So - I have a lot of bad recordings or remastered stuff that was rendered too bright.

The SS8 is likely the best speaker I've owned (I sold them in a bit of a budget crunch) and the SS7c is the best center channel I've owned.  The Klipsch Palladium P27 was the second best center I've owned - why - both are very revealing, crisp, accurate speakers.  In a center channel, that is what you want.

There were times that I thought the SS8 was a bit bright/fatiguing, but it was usually when I was listening at bright recordings at 87db's or above.  The SS8 was one of the few speakers I could really hear differences in electronics.  My favorite combo with them was with Classe gear (preamp and amp).  - Classe has a warm sound. 

After selling them I ran some old NHT 3.3's for a while - also an extremely accurate speaker with a little more bass punch (didn't play any lower, but was a bit punchier).  Again, on the same recordings at the same levels - they were a bit fatiguing. 

Before the SS8's - I had the klipsch palladium P37, which is a very accurate speaker also and super dynamic.  Also could get fatiguing - with one difference.  I felt that when turned up the Palladiums brought cymbals too forward in the mix.


Why do I mention those 3 speakers.

- All are accurate, all are dynamic.

Klipsch - Horn
Salk - RAAL
NHT - Metal Dome


So, three different designs, all accurate - all could get fatiguing.

Now, I've listened to BRM's Exotica 12's.

- I am confident that I could listen to those at 95 db's for hours on end and never get fatigued.  Regardless of recording.  They are as accurate as the others, and probably image better than anything I've ever heard.  They are not quite as dynamic, and while they imaged the best, they didn't have quite that "big" sound that the other 3 (well the NHT couldn't as well because of the baffle design) had.   They are awesome.  But - they are not for me.  I'm not willing to give up the dynamics.

Currently I have some JBL S3900's - a horn loaded speaker that I picked up used.   They are dynamic, fast, but in NO way bright.  In fact, borderline darker sounding.  The center channel (not an exact match) also a bit dark and it's not my favorite center.  It's good, but it's not as good as the SS7. 

Why do I mention those two.

Exotica 12 - dome
JBL S3900 - Horn

No one I know considers either bright.

As for your SS8's  - you can play around with them all you want, but IMO they are what they are (and I consider them the best speakers I've owned, even with the tradeoffs).

It's possible you do like the dyn's better.  I have liked some of the Dyn Audio I've heard in the past also (I like the focus 380) it's a dynamic speaker and a little less fatiguing on the top. 

I might suggest trying Classe or McIntosh gear if you want to go solid state and stick with the SS8's (I also have a older harman kardon signature 1.5 amp that puts out a ton of current that I found very warm with them). 

If it turns out they just aren't the right speaker for you - it happens.  Doesn't mean it's not a wonderful speaker, because it is.  Just means it's not the one for you.  Great speakers and I loved working with Jim.

I've very much considered going back to the SS8 one day when I can afford it.  In my case I might talk to Jim about different tweeters also (I'm interested to know how the pair built with the beryillium tweeter sounded different).










Rocket

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #62 on: 4 Jun 2016, 02:26 pm »
Hi Guys,

Just thought I would chime in with my opinion of Salk Sound speakers and their use of Solen Capacitors. Not everyone agrees that boutique capacitors make a huge difference in improving sonic quality.  I know that Jim supplies his speakers using Solen capacitors and he and Dennis are not totally convinced for the need of expensive boutique capacitors.

I live in Australia and a local speaker designer uses Axon capacitors (which are similar to solen capacitors) and he indicated he doesn't hear a difference with more expensive capacitors.  Sometimes all they so is smooth the sound out and affect other sonic attributes.  Its all in the design of the speakers.

I would probably suggest that these speakers aren't for the OP and perhaps they are just too revealing.  I use Salk Sound HT3's and I can easily hear the difference between poor quality and average recordings.  My HT3's perform at their best when I use really high quality recordings such as Checky.

Listening to 60's and 70's recordings just won't cut it with these speakers.  Perhaps look at another type of speaker as its all about the combination of good quality electronics, speakers and software.

Cheers Rod
« Last Edit: 5 Jun 2016, 01:18 am by Rocket »

zybar

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #63 on: 4 Jun 2016, 03:17 pm »
DEP14,

That was one of the best posts I have seen on any audio board!   :thumb: :thumb:

It was thoughtful, informative, and insightful without being condescending or preachy.

We should all strive to make posts like that.

George

Ern Dog

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #64 on: 4 Jun 2016, 04:01 pm »
DEP14,

That was one of the best posts I have seen on any audio board!   :thumb: :thumb:

It was thoughtful, informative, and insightful without being condescending or preachy.

We should all strive to make posts like that.

George

Agreed, I had that same thought.  Great thread

DEP14

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 216
Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #65 on: 4 Jun 2016, 04:46 pm »
DEP14,

That was one of the best posts I have seen on any audio board!   :thumb: :thumb:

It was thoughtful, informative, and insightful without being condescending or preachy.

We should all strive to make posts like that.

George

Thanks - it's supposed to be a fun hobby.

Someday I'll design my own perfect speaker.  I already have a name for it. 

"Imaginary Unicorn"


deep

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #66 on: 4 Jun 2016, 10:26 pm »
Dennis Murphy asked if the speakers sounded the same? Yes they sound the same. I used a Stereophile test cd to make that determination.

deep

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 9
Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #67 on: 4 Jun 2016, 10:57 pm »
USB cable is a Wireworld - Ultraviolet if I recall correctly.

Trying the dac plugged into the dedicated circuit.

Tried a more aggressive change in dropping high without success.

Randy

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #68 on: 4 Jun 2016, 11:33 pm »
I went through the same thing many years ago with a pair of big Dunleavy IV speakers that had gotten rave reviews universally. The rest of my equipment just wasn't up to the task of bringing out the best in them, so they sounded bright and harsh. I managed to tame them to a certain extent with some upgrades, but was never completely satisfied with them. I wonder how they would sound with my current equipment, a far cry from what I had in those days. That said, the problem here is bad AC in the evenings, which I've never solved using many different power conditioners, battery amps, and the like.

JP78

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 729
Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #69 on: 6 Jun 2016, 03:04 am »
While there is some labor of love which needs to be involved (placement/measurement and calibration), I will state that OP's gear is good enough for the speaker. Questioning him or his equipment or down to cable is  :nono:  :duh: Maybe one should ask for ear measurements as well? Not all have same taste and same speaker does not work for everyone.


deep - I'm with Kishore and several other members on this one.  Salks are fine speakers; an honest product with strong value. This does not mean they are a one-size fits all answer, as no speaker is. Your gear is certainly good enough to do them justice.

Every human ear is unique, as is every brain.  There is not a single speaker on this planet that will work for everybody.

You've made reasonable effort to get the speakers to work, and you've tried several affordable changes to your system.

I'd honestly talk to the folks at GIK Acoustics, as for a couple hundred dollars you're guaranteed to have acoustic treatments that will benefit whichever speaker ends up in your listening room.  There's a fair chance they may change your opinion on your SS8, but more importantly you won't have to adjust them in any way for the next speakers in your room.

Best,

jriggy

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #70 on: 6 Jun 2016, 04:57 pm »
Not that you need another opinion at this point, as I cant help but notice that every piece of gear in the chain, including cables and lack of power filtering, has been mentioned for being the problem… Nothing left to pick at!  :lol:

Maybe no one is wrong here. It could be everything having a small effect leading you to bad sound. Synergy is everything!

I started out with Parasound Halo in the beginning so I can attest to that one first hand as being more ‘mid-fi’ (lack of real tone/timber and smoothness). I can also attest to good power conditioning/filtering being something that helped me rid my system of hardness and glare —in a system that should of already been great but wasn't (voltage regulation was huge for my system!). Also agree that the noise a standard PC can bring into a system can give these issues, too…

At this speaker price point, it is indeed a labor of love to work up into synergy and to create, piece by piece, the sound you want out of them… Im sure many would say you CAN get these speakers to sound smooth. it just takes very thorough and careful complete system matching. If that is something you are not willing to do...then you know what to do.

Rocket

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #71 on: 7 Jun 2016, 01:38 pm »
Hi Deep,

Any chance a local Audiocircle member could come to your home and perhaps try another amplifier in your system?

Good luck.

Cheers Rod

WGH

Re: Are SS8’s the wrong speaker for me?
« Reply #72 on: 7 Jun 2016, 03:48 pm »
Synergy is everything!

Yes, something that has not been mentioned is that Salk speakers have a very good synergy with Audio by Van Alstine electronics. The AVA Synergy amp is a good match with the RAAL. I have the Salk HT2-TL speakers with the RAAL tweeter, AVA Synergy amp, AVA FET Valve pre-amp and my sound is the opposite of harsh and bright. Van Alstine has a 30 day return policy if you would like to try out one of their amps for just the price of shipping.

So in the long run it looks like you will either be replacing your speakers or electronics. You are going to take a big financial hit selling the speakers used with no guarantee your new speakers will sound wonderful with your existing electronics.

There is a 3rd option. Our audiophile group recently did a major trial using Dana Cables. Three high end systems in three different houses and my impressions are they are excellent cables but a little laid back in my system.

The Dana Cable TruStream USB is well made with woven shimmering graphite colored jacket that is very flexible, it reminds me of a snake. I would describe the sound as relaxed, with a rear of hall perspective. Highs are ever so slightly attenuated and bass is accented resulting in a warm rounded sound. Smooth too, with a refined presentation with no particular frequency given prominence.

A little too smooth in my system. The first impressions most people have of RAAL tweeters are they sound laid back but they are very clear. The TruStream made the RAAL's even more laid back. We compared the TruStream USB to a Nobility USB, Supra USB, Straightwire USB-Link, and a Curious Cable.

In a bright, analytical or edgy digital system the Danacable TruStream USB will bring that certain magic. Classical music lovers will also love this cable. We played Fanfare for the Common Man by Copeland at lifelike levels and it sounded jaw dropping so if you listen to music real loud then the TruStream USB is the cable for you.

The Dana Cable Onyx speaker cables had the same relaxed, laid back presentation with phenomenal deep bass and very "analog" sounding. All Dana Cables seem to be tuned for bright analytical systems or rooms.

Dana Cables website prices are crazy expensive and they don't work in my system but would do wonders in yours, they also have a 30-day money back guarantee and shipping costs are pennies compared to shipping an amp.
Hint: ask about a discount if buying more than one type of cable, you may be pleasantly surprised.
http://danacables.com/

Wayne